Act Your Age…

You know when people make those throwaway comments with a bite? The ones that they toss at you glibly, but underneath is a slightly vinegar tone, that tells you that it means more than they want you to believe?

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Well I had one of those come my way yesterday. I was telling someone about how much fun I have at the first Friday of the month BTUB events. To which the little comment came back “What, don’t you like spending time with people your own age anymore?” It was said in a jesting tone, but with just enough vinegar to alert me to the fact that the commenter was clearly getting a dig in. I didn’t comment on it at the time, but I’ve been thinking about it.
Firstly, yes, BTUB is a Twitter group. Oooooh, people from the internets! Watch out that they’re not all weird stalkers and child pornographers, won’t you? I meet with folks from the internet all the time. Have been doing so now for about a decade, and before that I was meeting with penpals I made through things like Rolling Stone magazine and even earlier, Dolly magazine. I’m still alive. I’ve not yet been stalked (that I know of) and other than a few annoying people (far less than I’ve met through my workplace and other “real life” events), I’ve not had any really bad experiences.
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Secondly, it’s a pretty mixed age group. The youngest I can think of is about 20, and they range to maybe up to a decade older than I am. Maybe more (you know, some folks have the youthful gene). I read somewhere that more than 60% of Twitter users are over 35. I’m just a teensy bit over 35 myself.
However, yes, there are a lot of people who are “BTUBbers” who are under 30. Most of the people I seem to have clicked with the most are under 30. And personally, I don’t care what someone’s age is, it’s just a number of years they have rotated around the sun.
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But one thing I am noticing is, that the reason I tend to gravitate towards those younger than my own generation, is that I find them refreshingly different to my “peers” so to speak. Now I am generalising here, and I am not saying that EVERYONE of my age or older fits the cookie cutter. But I have made a few observations about the people I find myself surrounded by lately, which I will share with you all.
Less cynicism. Nothing bores me more than cynics trying oh-so-hard to be cool and detached. Sneering at anything goofy, joyful, silly, entertaining or God forbid, popular. I love being around people who see fun in life, who enjoy things simply for the pleasure they give, rather than some lofty ideal or to impress others. It’s so much more pleasant to be around.
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Willingness to change/learn. The day I stop learning is the day I stop living. There are times I am wrong. I like to discover more about myself, others and the world. I like those who feel the same way. I like those who are eager to try new things, in the same way I am. That doesn’t mean I don’t like old favourites too, but I don’t want to ever find myself in a rut.
Thinking outside the cookie cutter. Whether it be in clothes, music, books, movies, I don’t want to ever find myself not trying something new. Or shunning something that is geeky or nerdy or not in fashion, just because it’s pretty or fun or pleasant. I don’t want to find myself wearing a “uniform” of clothes because it’s what everyone else wears. I want to admire silver boots and purple tights and Dr Who scarves and blue dyed hair. I want to eat cupcakes in the park, or get dolled up and go to high tea, rather than stand around a barbecue with a chardy while the blokes have a beer and turn the sausages, talking about what the kiddies did at kindy or what the boss said at work.
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One I’ve noticed from the guys: not intimidated by a woman who is independant, outgoing and confident. Oh so many guys of my generation and older like to whinge how they want an independant woman, how they want an outgoing lady with confidence but only find women who want them to pay their mortgage and tell them what to do. But when they meet a woman with confidence, they run a fucking mile. And tell their mates what a ball-breaking, aggressive bitch she is. It’s refreshing to find guys who aren’t bothered a jot about an outgoing, independant woman, who mostly see it as normal.
And finally, a willingness to go out of their way to show caring for each other. I think it’s part of the cynicism, but I am wearied by people who like to call themselves friends, but won’t inconvenience themselves for their friends. And I mean inconvenience, not at anyones expense. I’m not talking handing over your life savings, I’m talking about letting someone know you are there to listen, even though you have your own busy life. Some time ago I found myself surrounded by people who were more than happy to have me put in all the effort in a friendship, but the minute I showed any sign of need myself… well, you could hear the crickets chirping. Over the past year or so, I’ve found myself gathering a lovely tribe of people who give as well as receive, and yes, most of them are indeed younger than I am.
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Anyway, I’m not saying everyone over 35 is boring and restricted and selfish. You know how I hate generalisations. And perhaps it is skewed by the fact that I’m meeting people who are interested in the same things I am (but I am including those I meet through work, other friends and such as well). However, for a long time, I felt tired and bored and I’ve changed my method of socialising, to one which happens to include people of all ages. But yes, I am often, but not always, drawn to those who are younger than I am because they’re not so caught up in appearances and and what other people think.
I’ll probably get a few of those barbed comments for this too… *wink*!
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July 8, 2009. age, BTUB, friends, generations, personalities, social life.

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